Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Community
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Avatar universal

Chronic Hives

About six months ago since I moved across country and suddenly started to experience hives. I have never experienced this ever in my life, the only allergy I have had was to Shellfish and I stayed away from that. The hives seem to be very prominent in the morning and evening. They just don't seem to be going away. I am drinkning hot lemon water to cleanse my system and I was taking reacton but i really don't want to continully take pills like that. Is stress a big factor for these hives? Is six months a long time for them to last? I have seen an allergist but I was allergic to dust mites and still shellfish so should I go back to them and get tested again? What else can I do to get rid of these annoying hives? It's driving me crazy!

68 Responses
Avatar universal

I would definitely consider seeing an Allergist. Unfortunately those of us who have allergies, are prone to getting more allergies. One thing you can do right now is try different laundry detergents and/or soaps and see if the hives go away.

If your Allergist/Immunologist can't find the source for your condition, then I would consider seeing an alternative medicine practitioner that does BioMeridan (EAV testing) or muscle testing.

Avatar universal
i am almost to the point where I am gonna grab a knife and cut off the next part of my that itches. 4 months!!! this is crazy!! you know they say its stress related, but its causing so much more stress than i had before..
179332 tn?1273250959
when you moved - did your 'climates' change??  I grew up in the Midwest and boy-o-boy - I cannot even consider moving back there - ever!!!!!!!  I blow up like a blowfish and the sinus pressure is so bad... Are you taking anything for your hives? I've had to switch laundry detergent to "All Dye/Perfume Free" and also, I take "dye free benedryl" almost daily... has anyone talked about a course of prednisone with you?  It (((might))) help...I will always swear by "benedryl!"
if they didn't make it - I'd be scrod ((past tense of....well, you know)))
Avatar universal
I hear your pain. I found out that I was allergic to Penicillian and had chronic hives for 2 years. Every inch on my body was covered. The worst was having them in my throat. I got some relief with Cortisone injections. I was taking 75mg of Cortisone by tablet, every day and we know what that does to your body. I went to dermatologists, skin specialists with no answer. I became pregnant with my third child and the hives disappeared. This indicated to me a hormone inbalance. After I gave birth, the hives didn't reappear. There is no easy answer, I believe they will go when they are ready - good luck.
Avatar universal
I have suffered from chronic hives the past 6 years. I am just in the beginning phase of eliminating what I think may be the contributing trigger and will share that in a moment.

Research lead me to the conclusion that mine were pressure hives, where something creating even the slightest pressure in an area caused red welts & itching & if scratched they grew even larger & felt warm. Needless to say they drive me crazy, disrupt my sleep & make for rather drastic changes to something as simple as daily dressing. I get them where my straps and the underwire area of my bra rest, where the snap on my jeans touches my stomach, tags on my shirts and in my waistband area. Wearing new shoes or sandals causes them between my toes &  top of or on the soles of my feet.  I have had them all over my body and it seems to be getting worse.

The only remedy I found that is truly helpful is to use cold packs, I keep small frozen water bottles & ice packs in my freezer and I apply those to the hives at the first hint I may have them developing.  That seems to tame down the hives, however they need to be applied again, actually until they no longer remind you that they are there. Mine take at least 48 hours to leave when using cold packs or frozen bottles or bags. Most important (yes I know it is difficult) is not to scratch them no matter how wonderful it feels. Scratching only releases more histamine, hence they grow larger and they "ask to be scratched again & again". Amazingly enough the cold does help settle mine down.

My question is how many of you who suffer from hives eat products enhanced with sucralose or use Splenda? My research had lead me to believe this could be the trigger for me and the timeline goes hand in hand with when my hives started. I started using Splenda about 6 years ago It was in everything that I drank & ate from my coffee, tea & colas, my favirte flavored coffee creamer, puddings and the less sugar oatmeal I prepared. I also baked with it and added to fresh fruits. Most recently I started drinking more iced tea & was consuming even more Splenda daily and my hives were worse.

I have not had Sucralose now in 3 days and I have been experiencing headaches and bouts of insomnia where I wake up suddenly.  I would like to say that I have experienced no hives but that is not the case. I had hives present when I started the elimination. Considering I have had sucralose daily for 6 years I think it will take weeks to detoxify my body. I will post again and give an update. If the sucralose is not the culprit then hopefully the frozen water bottle & cold packs can provide you some relief.
179332 tn?1273250959
you're on the right track with the Splenda!! ((see my post 4 down on list from this one!!))  I have to watch easting yeast and chocolate. I do tests every once in a while to see if that IS what is causing my itching... it is... sad to say :(
I can feel the 'itchies' coming on and I take one Benedryl ... since I am MORE aware now of the 'triggers'...I can stay away from the triigers and keep Benedryl on hand...A friend of mine said her mother gets what you have...she has to wash everything she owns about 8 times when new before wearing any item!! and she washed it in "ALL Dye and Perfume Free" Detergent...and uses dye and perfume free fabric softener sheets...you might want to consider changing your detergent and fabric softener!!!!!  'Bounce' is also very very highly aggrevating to allergies/hives
179332 tn?1273250959
Hey! you catch fish!! hahaha!! *kidding*
my hubby is a big fly-fishin' nut!!  ties
all his own and stuff...I'm just fish from the shore
with a simple rod and reel...a spin fisher...

I know what you mean about 'feeling' the hives coming on...
mine is that way too...like, eing sunburnt on
your face and then you sweat from exercising and it burns?
that's how my entire body feels...like a burn under my skin
I NEVER get actual hives ((some small bumps on my face but, that's it)
I take a benedryl when I feel that coming on.  I was taking a bendryl every night before bed so the histamine would wear down...the benedryl doesn't always work...

I am curious if your headache goes away with in a week...

Avatar universal
I am now about 4 1/2 days off Splenda & sucralose products. I have had a dull headache, seems worse in the evening. I have to read the labels on everything I think about eating now & have begun to eat more health consciencely.

Sometimes I think I can feel the hives as they are forming, it seems that area of my skin is tingly, feels almost like something planted under my skin is trying to push it's way out. That is when I need to start the cold packs. Today I had an area where my the side of my bra rubbed me, I reached  to adjust my bra & just touching the area set off the itching. I tried to avoid touching it & when I returned home I applied the ice bottle. The cold settled down the itch. I am now typing this with a cold bag applied under my bra, that will have me good to go for another couple of hours, the cold does help as much as anything.

It is not the materials or the laundry products I use that cause the hives from clothing, rather a label or tag in the neck of a shirt or the area where something is sewn together & has formed a thicker than normal seam that rubs my skin that may just trip  the trigger that will set the hives off in a new area. That and pressure from a waistband or a pair of shpoes. I love to fish & we go out often. If I catch a fish & place the rodtip on my tummy for leverage when fishing I will have a big circular hive there the next day.  URGHH

Avatar universal
I had hives for 10 months about 3 years ago after having a baby, and just started having hives again because I basically just started ovulating again (I had been taking a topical natural progesterone cream in such a way that it was essentially acting as a contraceptive).  I definately think it is related to hormones and possibly my thyroid.  Have you had your hormones tested?  Our hormones change at different times in our lives and it may have been a coincidence that you just moved (also stress!! provokes them too I think)
Avatar universal
My hormones have been fine . I am now 8 days off of Splenda or any artificial sweetener.  I have experienced headaches daily and insomnia ost nights. I am eating healthy and drinking plenty of fluids, water, green tea & juices. I have added several aditional servings of fresh fruit to my diet as well, something I usually had just two servings of daily before.

I located many articles on the ill effects of artificial sweeteners and hives were one of the symptoms. I can pretty much pinpoint the timeline for mine to the use of Splenda.  

I have joined a group on YAHOO Health Groups that has given me lots of information, you can do a search on YAHOO GROUPS, keyword Urticaria to locate the group there.

There was a post today on the internet, keywords Splenda Side Effects. I will post here to let you know my progress with the hives.

179332 tn?1273250959
and remember, it's Sucralose that you have to stay away from...make sure THAT's not on the label ((it's Splenda's real name))

not sucrose which is a sugar  - but, SUCRALOSE
Avatar universal
A friend went to the doc for hives and her put her on an antihistamine and Xanax for the anxiety related to the itching.  She hasn't had a problem since.  I am going back to the doc this week to see about getting soem Xanax just to get through this.  

I feel your pain.
Avatar universal
I am so sympathetic for what you are going through.. I am dealing with unexplained hives/itchy skin/swellling lips/eye lids blowing up..   It has been going on for about 2 months now and it is driving me mad!

  I have started to see an Allergist and (not done with the testing yet),I actually had my breathing tested (not a Dr. appointment,  a nurse does this) and while on the way there my lip blew up and  hives ensued.  ughhhhhhh

  I also have a new ****-Zu puppy that was purchased in Feb.  No hive outbreaks until end of May?? So far allergy tests say it's not the dog..  I'm wondering if this is hormonal related because my obgyn in her infinite wisdom changed me from the Estrogen patch to a pill that includes testosterone (Estratest).. OMG!  I am itchy non-stop and the hives each time get worse..   I am going to continue with the Allergist and maybe go back to the patch and pray that this works..  HIves,itchy skin and lips along with eye lids swelling are a nightmare.. best of luck to you.  
Avatar universal
I have been having hives since Oct. of 2006.  They seemed to get worse and worse as time went on and I went to about 3 doctors to find out what was causing it.  One doctor came to the conclusion that it could be from stress. She put me on Paxal anxiety medicine to see if it would go away.  A week after I saw an allergist and he couldn't figure it out either.  He put me on Singulair and Zyrtec D at the end of March 07 to see if either of those would help. At the beginning of April of 07 the hives just disappeared. I'm not sure if the Paxel kicked in or the Allergy medicine worked.  The hives stayed away completely until June 23rd of 07 and they are becoming as bad as they used to be in Nov-April.  I'm also feeling like the Paxel helped me coupe with work and school better and i wasn't as anxious but recently I feel like it isn't helping me at all.  The hives are back full blown and they are ichy and really annoying because all the allergy medicines i was perscribed don't seem to do anything for them.  The doctor recommended doubling the anxiety medicine if i needed too. I don't really know what to do anymore and I'm about to go back to college and don't really want to be covered in hives.  Any recommendations?
Avatar universal
When I was a young girl I suffered from hives (for six years). Finally a dermatologist did a simple test on my skin and declared that I had an enzyme in my skin that reacted to water. I took Atarax, 3 times a day to start but after time was able to reduce the dosage to 1 pill every other day (small dosage). "Atarax [brand name] is an antihistamine used to relieve the symptoms of common anxiety and tension and, in combination with other medications, to treat anxiety that results from physical illness. It also relieves itching from allergic reactions and can be used as a sedative before and after general anesthesia. Antihistamines work by decreasing the effects of histamine, a chemical the body releases that narrows air passages in the lungs and contributes to inflammation. Antihistamines reduce itching and swelling and dry up secretions from the nose, eyes, and throat." (http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/rxdrugprofiles/drugs/ata1035.shtml)
The generic name is Hydroxyzine hydrochloride
I don't know if doctors still prescribe this and I don't think it is actually intended for long term use, but I took it for years and it helped me. Eventually I weaned myself off the drug altogether and I haven't had hives since then.
Avatar universal
You know what you all seem to have the same problem as me.............these stupid hives that I get are driving me nuts and there seems to be not one doc that can get them to go away.  I have been getting these for 11 years, they may go away for a couple of months, but they always return.  Except when I was pregnant and the doc said this was due to the fact that when your pregnant your system changes so that your body doesn't regect the baby.  They are thinking I have an auto immune disease.  Which looking it up, it does make sense, but I refuse to go on cortizone because I get mean and put on weight.  Allergy pills will only work so long till your body gets use to them and then you have to switch to a different kind.  I gotta say the worse is when my half of my lip swells to about 4 times its normal size.  Not my whole lip, just half.  What I have they have figured out isn't due to allergies, but do to my immune system.  So they say right now.  I just don't think docs know what the reason is.
Avatar universal
Right now I am having an allergic reaction to Spenda ! I have had extreme itching on my legs for the past week. No new soaps, detergents, creams etc. Just an increase in my Splenda intake. Within the last week I have been drinking several large glasses of ice water with lemon and spenda daily, plus a sprinkle on fruit and in tea. After searching the internet - I'm leaning towards the Splenda. I am treating with with Benadryl, drinking lots of plain water and eliminating Splenda completely. I hope this will leave my system soon- I can't take the itching !!!
Avatar universal
I can sympathize with all of you..... I woke up 3 months ago with hives all over my body had no clue what they were never had an allergy in my life.  Thought it might be scabies and my primary doctor said thats what it looked like so he treated me with Lindane.  That seemed to maybe be it for about a week I wasnt itching as bad but then I started getting hives all over again and these were huge welts.  I went back and saw a different doctor and he said you are having a classic allergic reaction to something and he said try bendryl and cortisone cream so I did I went back a week later and still the same thing was said to me you have hives duh I know this but what is causing them.  So they prescirbed me Ateraix and Cimedidne (know im not spelling it right) that helped the hives went away.  As long as I was taking the medicine. But some times it didnt help so I went back to the doctor they put me on Steriods wow what a mistake it helped but I swelled up.  So I decided to go see an allergist They said once again you have hives AHHHHH I was about to go out of my mind He said stay on the Aterax and Cimedadine and also add Clarinx and Singular  yay two more meds to take.  So I did .  He did a bunch of blood work and said it all checked out great no autoimmune disorder or anything.  Crazy thing is he said he cant do an allergy test when I am in a active break out and on meds.  So I am in a Catch 22 situation.  The itching is more intense at night but the wash pops up all over sometimes just on my arms or on my neck or in my head groin back legs ughhhh the itching.  I cant stay on these meds forever they make me sleepy.  Any Advice????  I cant keep going like this.  I do have pets but I have had them way before this all started.  I am also experiencing alot of acid reflux with this as well not sure if its related but it started at the same time.  PLEASE HELP  
Avatar universal
my email is l.gonzales at yahoo dot com

thank you
Avatar universal
After almost 2 months of frustrating itching and hives on my arms, legs, hands and feet, I think I may be allergic to sucralose as well.  I also tried discontinuing lotions, soaps, laundry detergents, etc.  I finally realized that the itching seemed to get worse after eating or drinking something with Splenda in it.  And then I realized that I had been on a weight loss program for about 2 months, using more Splenda than ever before.  I immediately stopped using any products containing sucralose and have not had anything contaning it for one week.  The itching and hives have subsided a bit but have not completely disappeared.

Does anyone have any information about how long it could take to completely cleanse the body of sucralose?
Avatar universal
I agree cutting calories and uping the intake of splenda, plus my husband is a diabetic so everything in my house has splenda in it- ice cream, soda, jelly, syrup you name it. It took me about 4 days and lots of water and absolutely no splenda for the itching to subside. But, I was at a picnic last weekend and had a glass of iced tea ( not knowing it had splenda in it ). I had another flare for approximately three days. I had to switch from Diet Coke back to Diet Pepsi and now have to look at everything to see that it doesn't have it in. I am going to be very careful for the next few months of everything I eat/drink and see if I have anymore itching. It really stinks because I enjoyed the taste and low calories !
Avatar universal
That's what happened to me.  I had a cocktail at a friend's house -- malibu rum and cranberry juice.  I started itching immediately.  Surprise!  The cranberry juice was "light" and contained Splenda.  I am now being super careful.  I can't believe one glass of iced tea made you itch for 3 days.  So I wonder just how long two month's worth will take to disappear.  I also hope that I'm right in suspecting the Splenda, because if not, I'm completely stumped, and ready to rip my skin off!

My biggest problem is finding beverages without Splenda.  I love Pepsi One but haven't had it at all lately.  Someone told me that Diet Coke doesn't have Splenda.  Does Diet Pepsi?  I agree that it really stinks to not be able to have it -- it's finally an artificial sweetener that tastes good.  And I had finally found a lowfat yogurt that I could eat every day and is only 1 point on the weight watchers program -- can't have it anymore, it's full of Splenda!
Avatar universal
Well, many thanks to all of your for your stories and info!
Avatar universal
Diet Coke comes two ways- one with Splenda and one without. When I am out- I unfortunately have had to ask the waiter to check to see which one they carry. They look at me funny- but hey I like an occassional soda, but I will not suffer anymore.
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